My iPod is my pocket-size mood regulator. It’s constantly with me to ensure that no matter what situation I am in, there is a soundtrack to see me through. Even when I was a kid, I was the queen of mix BDs (yes, my generation was slightly after the mix-tap trend). Through wonderful, illegal websites like Kazza, Morpheus and Bear Share- I was able to be introduced to so many songs and artists. Yes, I know that artists suffered loss of profits but because of these sites I was able to deepen my appreciation of music for free. At least kids these days have Youtube.
Right now my iPod is 32g, which gives me a ton of space to load up my eclectic music collection. When I need to relax at night, I organize my iTunes music library and create playlists based moods. When I’m feeling nostalgic, it’s time to turn on one of my ‘time era’ playlists. This includes the early years (90s), middle school drama (2000-2003), teen age angst (2004-2007) and college throwbacks (2008-2011). Each playlist brings back feelings that make the past super vivid. Some songs hold special memories of my favorite nights spent with people that are no longer in my life. Others remind me of the simple days of dancing around in my childhood bedroom, belting at the top of my lungs without the consideration of my parents or neighbors.
In honor of Throwback Thursday this week- here are some of my favorite 2000s songs that I will never delete from my iPod. And I guarantee after reading this list, you will be adding a few of these selections to your own library!
The year this came out was when I first started watching TRL and MTV on a regular basis, or was allowed to at least. It was the first rap song I actually could understand the lyrics to (word wise- meaning is a whole other story). With his blonde hair and blue eyes, Eminem was my bad boy crush that terrified my parents. Their daughter who listened to the clean cut Backstreet Boys religiously was now trying to memorize rap lyrics. Back when watching the VMA’s was a big deal- this is the song that opened the show in 2000. It amazed me that he took over the streets of NYC with hundreds of clones and marched into the theater for the award ceremony. With this song, my life-long love of Eminem music began. And yes, I still love him despite his shitty string of hits since 2008.
There is no real reason why this song is still on my iPod. It’s just such a fun beat full of nonsense that I like to play before I’m heading into a tough meeting or need to pump myself up for a social situation. However, I do remember listening to this song on my NOW 4 Cd, played on my baby blue Sony Disc Man I got for Christmas one year from my grandparents. Ironically the batteries in my Disc Man lasted 10x longer than my iPod battery. And they say technology has advanced.
The first few ssynthesized-string beats of this song instantly transports me back to the junior high dances in my catholic grade school’s gymnasium. My heart still races when I recall the moment our DJ would turn off the A-Teens songs and switch to a slower beat. Within a span of two minutes, we’d look at each other in sheer panic. No one wanted to be the girl who slow danced with her friends. When I was luckily enough to be asked to dance, my arms would become stiff planks reaching awkwardly towards his shoulders while his clammy hands grasped onto my hips for dear life. The entire time we would sway back and forth awkwardly trying not breathe, focused on the fact our nun-principal was starting us down. This isn’t the only Nsync song in my library, but it is one of the less popular of their tunes that I keep to remember I’ve come a long way since the days I danced to this song.
The discovery of Good Charlotte marks the time period of when my best friend, Geri, decided that being punk was her true calling in life. I actually have a diary entry from 8th grade where I wrote ‘She’s wearing weird Hot Topic Clothes and listening to music where they scream a lot. I miss my best friend.’ Of course I couldn’t get through the story over the phone without almost peeing my pants, but to my 13 year old self that must of been traumatic. More importantly, this song summed up how I felt a month or so before 8th grade graduation. After going to school with the same 130 kids for 8 years, I wanted out. I had come to a point where I had a great group of friends who were also not in the popular crowd, but then I realized most of the graduation class was not in that crowd. Only 10% minority of kids were actually those chosen ones- the rest of us misfits were the majority. That gave me this sense of liberation of self that at 13 was so freaking exciting.
Again, this is one of those songs that has no significant meaning to my life or a certain memory. It just amazes me how fast and well R. Kelly can rap. When he’s not putting is foot in his mouth with legal issues.
I admit, growing up on the borderline of Philadelphia and the suburbs, my cultural exposure was limited. Most of my friends were the same way, and we sort of lived in our own sheltered bubble. Except Cait. Cait was our ‘street smart’ friend, at least that’s what we called her. Because her parents didn’t shelter her as much, and she had older brothers- Cait was far from naive when we met in junior high. When we went to the local mall, she would pick-pocket my phone to teach me that I was an easy target, and showed me how to protect myself. She took city buses and subways to our houses or to meet us at the movie theater, and didn’t get lost. I credit Cait for teaching me that hip-hop and r&b are awesome, and even if you are a white girl with no rhythm, booty shaking can be good for the soul. She introduced me to B2K and this was one of my favorite songs that was on repeat on my Disc Man for consecutive months. I also credit her for my exposure to Ashanti, Jennifer Lopez and P-Diddy.
Again this gem was on one of my many NOW CD (Edition to 7 if you really want to be exact). At the time, I thought that it was a song about a nice guy who never gets the girl. But as I listen to it knowing what that it’s about- props to the band for tackling a serious issue through pop punk. This way way before Red Jumpsuit Apparatus came out with ‘Face Down‘- another awesome song with a super serious message.